The cool temperatures and wind created a challenging situation for the riders today.
Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez got up to speed quickly in challenging conditions at Silverstone, the reigning champion getting within a couple of tenths of the Circuit Record Lap to finish half a second quicker than his closest rival in Friday practice.
In cool and blustery conditions, Marquez set a time of 2’02.126 in the afternoon Free Practice 2 session to finish 0.509 seconds ahead of LCR Honda MotoGP’s Stefan Bradl who was second quickest today. Third quickest on the opening day of action for the British Grand Prix was Ducati Team’s Andrea Dovizioso with a personal best lap time of 2’03.635.
Both Marquez and Bradl set their best times using the combination of the soft compound front and medium compound rear slicks, while Dovizioso was able to set his best time on the medium compound front paired with the soft compound rear.
Conditions at Silverstone on Friday were overcast and cool with periods of very light rain, with the track temperature reaching a high of 30°C at the start of FP2. The morning FP1 session was particularly cool with track temperatures hovering around 20°C, resulting in almost every rider starting the session on the extra-soft front slick and softer option rear slicks to ensure maximum warm-up performance and grip.
As track conditions and temperatures improved in the afternoon, many riders took the opportunity to evaluate the medium compound front slick, as they searched for better front-end stability at a circuit which features a couple of hard braking zones. Some riders also used the afternoon session to assess the harder rear slick options; medium compound for Ducati and Open-class, and hard for Factory Honda and Yamaha riders, with further evaluation of all rear slick options to take place during race simulations tomorrow before race tyre choice is decided.
Shinji Aoki – Manager, Bridgestone Motorcycle Tyre Development Department: “As is often the case at Silverstone, the cool temperatures and wind created a challenging situation for the riders today, and the riders also commented that the circuit is quite bumpy. However it was a good start to the race weekend as the riders tried many tyre combinations and the pace in FP2 was quite quick.
All of our slick tyre options were evaluated and at this point it seems the soft compound front slick offers the best balance of warm-up potential and overall performance, and while the softer option rears are the preferred option right now, the harder rears also offer good performance so race tyre choice is still open at this stage. Given the pace we’ve seen today, the chance of seeing a new Circuit Best Lap record being set in qualifying tomorrow is good.”